Skip to main content

Full text of "Cassandra Letter to GPO in regard to the NAPA Report"

See other formats

March 4, 2013 

Ms. Davita Vance-Cooks 
Acting Public Printer of the United States 
United States Government Printing Office 
723 North Capitol Street, N. W. 
Washington, D. C. 20401-0001 

Dear Ms. Vance-Cooks: 

We support the National Academy of Public Administration's (NAPA) conclusion that 
"free access to government information is both an important tenet of a democracy and a 
critical responsibility." We do not believe that NAPA's recommendation # 4, which calls 
for the Government Printing Office (GPO) to consider charging fees for end users of the 
Federal Digital System (FDsys), will foster democracy or the right of all in America to 
access the information produced with their tax dollars. 

The NAPA report "Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America 
Informed in the Digital Age" recognizes the importance of the Federal Depository 
Library Program in providing access to traditional and electronic formats. But its 
suggestion that free access be limited to that provided through the depository libraries 
does not recognize that access to FDsys makes it possible for all libraries to provide 

The report's assertion that the attempt to collect fees for access to GPO Access (Now 
FDsys) failed because the "technologies of online payments" were inadequate does not 
recognize that the Public Printer and the Joint Committee on Printing agreed that 
providing free access to everyone was the best way to promote democracy and fulfill the 
mandate of Congress to keep the public informed about its government. Charging for 
information and providing the same information for free is not a practical and workable 
business model. 

Charging non-depository library users would impede technical innovation and the re-use 
and re-purposing of government information. It would contradict the policy of providing 
bulk government information for re-use. It would repudiate open government initiatives 
such as,,, and 

We do support NAPA's recommendation that the government should implement a 
government- wide strategy for managing the life cycle of digital government information; 
that GPO should offer to government agencies cost-recovery services for the life cycle 
management of information, including preservation; and that GPO should develop a 
strategic plan for the Federal Depository Library Program that will give libraries the 
flexibility and tools they need to provide tree permanent public access to government 
information in the digital age (P. 3). 

GPO should return to the model of sharing responsibility for preservation and access with 
Federal Depository Libraries. This would allow GPO to charge government agencies for 
information and content management services without having to impose fees on the 
public for use of that information. It would also release GPO from the burden of being 
solely responsible for the preservation of and access to government information. We 
urge that the 200 year old partnership between GPO and the libraries continue into the 
digital future. 

Thank you for considering our concerns. 

CASSANDRA (Concerned Government Information Professionals) 

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Professional Staff Member, Retired, U. S. Congress, Joint 
Committee on Printing, 4942 Walnut 1 South, K. C. MO 641 12 

Francis Buckley, Librarian Retired and Superintendent of Documents Emeritus 
POB 24388, Ft Lauderdale, Florida 33307 

Martha Childers, Government Documents Librarian, retired, Johnson County Library, KS 
Kansas City, MO 

Joan Goddard, Public Librarian, Retired 

1171 West Latimer Ave., Campbell, CA 95008 

Patricia Hassan, Librarian, Retired, Johnson County Library (KS) 
23226 W. 71 Ter., Shawnee Mission, KS 66227 

Anne Heanue, ALA Washington Office, Retired 

610 Pullman Place, Alexandria, VA 22305 

Murray Louis Howder, Librarian Retired 

3711 Livingston St. N. W., Washington, D. C. 20015-1737 

Jeanne Isacco, Librarian, Retired 

125 56th Ave South, St Petersburg, FL 33705 

James A. Jacobs, Librarian Emeritus, University of California, San Diego 
7050 Condon Drive, San Diego, CA 

James R. Jacobs, Former Chair of Depository Library Council 

Government Information Librarian, Stanford University 

544 Guerrero St #2, San Francisco, CA 941 10 

Melody Specht Kelly, Associate Dean Emerita, University of North Texas 
2109 Kayewood, Denton, TX 76209 

Linda M. Kennedy, Librarian Emerita, University of California, Davis 
FOB 294, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497 

Barbara Kile, Librarian, Retired, Rice University Library 
5223 Jason Street, Houston TX 77096-1320 

Charles R. Leacy, Associate Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology 
54-8 Jacqueline Road, Waltham, MA 02452 

Candace Morgan, Librarian, Retired 

707 SW Dolph St, Portland, OR 97219 

Judy Myers, Professor Emerita, University of Houston Library 

251 1 County Rd 62, Rosharon, TX 77583 

Mary Redmond, Librarian, New York State Library, Retired 

26 Clarendon Road, Albany, New York 12203 

Patricia Reeling, Professor Emerita, School of Communications and Information, Rutgers 
23118 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, PA 19403 

Suzanne Sears, Former Chair of Depository Library Council 2010-201 1 

Assistant Dean for Public Services, University of North Texas 

Barbara Smith, Professor Emerita, Skidmore College Library 
RD3 Box 217, 33 Loughberry Rd, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 

Maryellen Trautman, Documents Librarian, United States National Archives, Retired 
9207 Chanute Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814 

Justine P. Veatch, Library Consultant 

714 Harrison Drive, Evans, GA 

Lynn Walshak, Professor Emerita, Georgia Southern University Library 
14207 Misty Meadow, Houston, TX 77079 


U. S. Congress Joint Committee on Printing 

U. S. Congress. Senate Rules Committee 

U. S. Congress Committee On House Administration 

U. S. Congress, House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on the Legislative 


U. S. Congress Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on the Legislative